Today I made my way through the busy piazze to go to the Mercato Centrale (Central Market) in San Lorenzo. I miss going to my mercato in Sant'Ambrogio, but because there's only one pescivendolo (fish stand), I prefer to go to the Mercato Centrale to buy fish. I like to browse the multiple pescivendoli because I appreciate the choice that is available to me.
I made a beeline to the pescivendolo that I generally go to and purchased some fresh tonno (tuna). After paying for my tonno, I headed straight for the closest exit of the mercato. I initially walked along the street where the bancarelle (stands) selling leather goods, scarves, and touristy items line the streets. After a short while, I wanted to avoid the crowds, so I began walking along the marciapiede (sidewalk) behind the bancarelle to speed up my return home.
I saw an opening between two bancarelle and walked across the busy street to walk alongside the San Lorenzo church.
The second I put my foot on the marciapiede, I saw a pristine statue of a woman sitting down and was so taken by her that I stopped. I walked up to the iron fence and took a better look at her. The statue seemed so surreal just sitting there with no big fanfare. I had walked along this part of the marciapiede many times before, but never noticed the monument.
I took a picture of the statue and immediately looked up her name when I got home. I discovered that the statue of the woman, Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, willed all of her family's possessions to Florence and stipulated that nothing leave the city.
I'm always amazed by what I discover in Florence and what I learn about its history. The only reason I ended up on that marciapiede was to avoid the crowds and yet I was fortunate enough to learn something important about the history of my beloved city.
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